This is the story of a “wild goose chase” I hope it helps anyone who finds themselves in this situation and if you have any advice yourself please, I implore you, help us…
It begins with us trying to pay after an enjoyable meal, we hand over our cash as usual, but there seems to be something not right, the waiter looks shocked and partially disgusted, we wonder what’s happened. He informs us we can’t use our 10 dollar bill, because it has a stupidly tiny rip in it, we have no money, so we have to borrow it off a guy we just met, for now the problem is solved.
We figure we will head in to the shop next door to the food place and see if we have any better luck, but they were not fooled by our attempts at trickery, oh no, they also informed us of our inability to use the note.
We feel cheated, how could someone be so cruel as to give us this ten-dollar as change, we proceed back to the hostel and forget about it for the night.
The next morning, we ask at the hostel about changing the note, she informs us the bank or currency exchange vendors will be fine, so we head out on a mini adventure. First stop, the bank. We show the guy our bill and explain our situation, our hearts filled with hope, but alas, he tells us our money is no good here, it cannot be exchanged.He then tells us to head round the corner to an exchange vendor, so off we go. Stop number 2, the Exchange Vendor, again we pull out the bill, with fingers and toes crossed, the lady inspects it, looks up and once again we are told it’s no use, and that we should head to a bank. We explain that we just came from a bank, and she tells us to try a different one, so off we go again, 3rd time lucky right? WRONG! How could these people be so cruel?! The next bank also tells us it’s no use, our ten-dollar bill in almost pristine condition is turning out to be useless, diseased, we feel ashamed.
We hear rumors on the street of a national bank and as we approach the grand building we feel this must be it, of all the places this huge brick structure must be the place. we swing the doors open, hit by the cool blast of air con, and were greeted by no one. Not a single person man the desks, I look through a door to spot a guy counting money, I get his attention, but he isn’t interested in meer tourists, maybe he’s heard about us I thought…
A sign in the window of the desks catches my attention, “no exchange for tourists” it seems things aren’t gonna go well, We find another man asleep around the corner, so we ask him, nay, we plead for his help, but alas, it’s no use, even he cannot help us. We get him to Sellotape the tiny rip for us in hope we can fool some poor vendor elsewhere.
Fast forward a few hours, we head for a cheeky ice cream with our freshly taped 10 dollar bill in hand, it looks pristine, the guy did an amazing job, we eat our ice cream and proceed to pay, but oh no, there is no fooling Mr Ice Cream retail man, his eyes sharp as a hawk, he notices the tape (and rip) and heads over to his supervisor, she struts over and tells us, yet again, that our money is no good. We feel defeated and have to pay on card.
We give up for today, but tomorrow we head to Phnom Penh where we see if their eyes are as sharp as the folk in Siem Reap, and we see if this curse will remain with us.
To be continued…